Atlanta, the largest city and capital of Georgia, is the seat of Fulton County. It is situated in the northwest part of the state at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Chattahoochee River. The first European settler was Hardy Ivy, who built a cabin there in 1833.
Founded as Terminus in 1837, the town served as the end of the Georgia railroad line (Western and Atlantic Railroad) and later became incorporated as Marthasville in 1843 in honor of ex-governor Lumpkin's daughter Martha. It was renamed Atlanta in 1845 and incorporated as a city in 1847. The name was suggested by the railroad's chief engineer, J. Edgar Thomson, and was derived from its location at the end of the Georgia and Atlantic railroad line. The city became the capital of Georgia in 1868.
During the Civil War, the city was burned and almost completely destroyed while occupied by Gen. William T. Sherman's troops in Nov. 1864. It was rebuilt after the war and grew rapidly due to the expansion of the railroads in the southwest.
Today, Atlanta is the major commercial and transportation hub of the southeast United States, and its international airport is one of the busiest in the world. The city's economy is led by the service, communications, retail trade, manufacturing, finance, and insurance industries. The convention business is also important, and Atlanta is home to many major corporations, including Coca-Cola, which was founded there in 1892.
Atlanta is also a major educational center, with many prestigious universities and colleges, including Emory University (1836), Georgia Institute of Technology (1885), and Georgia State University (1913). Morehouse College (1867), Spelman College (1881), and Clark Atlanta University (1865; 1869) are important historically black colleges.
See also Encyclopedia: Atlanta.
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